Etheridge tours Gulf on Katrina anniversary

U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) announced today that he will visit the Gulf Coast during the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, from Sunday, August 27, to Wednesday, August 30.

Etheridge will travel with other members of the House Democratic Caucus and will be the only North Carolina member of Congress on the tour.

Etheridge will view the damage and recovery efforts in Mississippi and Louisiana. He will participate in prayer services in New Orleans and St. Bernard’s Parrish. He will also meet with local citizens, elected officials and veterans to discuss the storm’s impact.

The purpose of the trip is not only to join Gulf Coast citizens in prayer and reflection, but to do some work to help rebuild the region. The delegation of Democratic lawmakers will host a town hall meeting in Bay St. Louis Monday night to discuss insurance claims and coverage, a complicated hurdle in the rebuilding process.

Lawmakers will also host a policy forum with local elected officials and experts to discuss the challenges the people of the Gulf Coast still face a year after the disaster. The issues to be discussed will include housing, health care, transportation, fisheries, environment and education.

In July, the House Democratic Caucus unanimously approved a resolution to establish Saturday, August 26, and Sunday, August 27, 2006 as a Time for National Prayer and Remembrance for the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.